Do you think a 13 year old should be forced to go to church

United States
July 20, 2009 12:32am CST
I know a 13 year old cousin who is a great friend. he is being forced to go to church by his parents. Even though he says he's an atheist and i believe him. He seems to know what he choose.Do u think that he should be force to go to a christian church.
9 people like this
47 responses
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
20 Jul 09
Hi jacosci, I think that definitely he should not be forced to go to church, surely at 13 or even younger a person is intelligent enough to know their own mind and not have others beliefs imposed upon him. Rather than following the pack your cousin has thought things through for himself and that is to be admired, it shows that he has an enquiring mind. To be expected to blindly follow something he has no belief in is counter productive and shows lack of respect by his parents for his choice.
@kdmlrys (399)
• United States
20 Jul 09
You are destroying the reputation of Christianity if you force someone to attend church services. What would other people think about Christians if they encounter something like this? To be honest, it's a huge turn-off! I think this is one of the reasons why people turn away from churches. And the bottom line is, beliefs should not be forced upon someone.
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22920)
• United States
20 Jul 09
I dont think anyone, child or adult, should be forced to go to church or practice any religion...For starters (in the case of a child) it will create issues in the family (assuming the child isnt interested) such as resentment..it will also create issues with how that person (child) views that religion and its believers later on in life which of course could snowball into a big bad hateful scene AND I think its also a form of disrespect to that particular religion, the church and its believers.. I'm a firm believer that a child should be taught the basics of numerous religions (should or when they begin to show an interest) and then they have the starting point to explore and decide for themselves when they are ready..
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jul 09
I think that is such a good idea thanks
@uath13 (8204)
• United States
21 Jul 09
Wow Raven way to leave the rest of us ABSOLUTELY NOTING ELSE TO SAY! Good Job!
2 people like this
• United States
21 Jul 09
I pray that more parents will teach their children about Jesus Christ. Our world is in a mess right now simply because people are turning away from God and that is the biggest mistake anyone can make. I pray all the time that children who are not raised by godly parents will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ from someone who truly cares about them. God bless. ~Spring
@jojorv (201)
• Philippines
24 Jul 09
i think your cousin is not yet ready to make that kind of assumption. faith towards a certain religion is something that is built over a long period of time and experiences.instead of forcing your cousin to go to church, the parents should ENCOURAGE him to understand the Christian faith and give him options to explore other religions.
@sid556 (30987)
• United States
24 Jul 09
Yes...he should be allowed to check out other religions. I had to go to church as a kid....hated it but my parents were also very open in my going to different churches with friends of other religions and reading up on them. At 12, I was typing manuscripts for a medium which goes very much against the Catholic teachings.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
21 Jul 09
This is a tricky question because I believe we should choose our own beliefs & shouldn't be forced into anything. But then the other half of me says they are his parents & probably want their son to have what they have. After all this is a 13 year old kid we are talking about & he does still live with his parents. When I lived under my parents roof, I had to obey their rules & if we had church on Sundays, then we all went. I also went through a stage about being an Atheist around 12 & 13 years of age & to be honest, it was just to be different from the people around me. Maybe a cry for help or maybe just me wanting attention. Teens don't know what they want & grow out of these different stages. I'm sure he will & if not, once he is out & on his own, then he can stop going to church with his family if he chooses to, but I see it like this, if he is living under their roof, show respect & follow the rules.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jul 09
no,i do not. if he is that against it,it will only cause problems. granted he is a minor,but there are some things children should have some input on. at the very least the parents should be open to discussion with him about it.
@EvanHunter (4028)
• United States
20 Jul 09
In the short response, yes I do. When he is of legal age than he can do what he wants. Religion is no different than anything else, he is still a minor. Do I think it will help to force someone, No, but than again it opens up more opportunities than him sitting at home online or playing a video game or worse if he is on the streets.
• United States
20 Jul 09
No I dont believe anyone should be forced to go to church. I think if you force a teenager your only going to have a neg experenice and the child might decide to not have faith in anything cause it was forced on them
1 person likes this
@andy77e (5161)
• United States
23 Jul 09
Does his parents feed him? Does he have clothes they bought for him? Do they pay for a house he lives in? Do they buy him things he needs? Did they teach him how to talk? Did they wipe his butt when he was a baby? Did his mother feed him milk at 2 AM in the morning? You, and him, both owe your parents for EVERYTHING you have. You owe them for putting up with you when you acted like a brat. You owe them for providing for you when you had nothing. You owe them you very life. They could have killed you in an abortion. They could have put you up for adoption and who knows what kind of people you would have ended up with. You could have been deserted and ended up in foster homes or orphanages, tossed from one house to another for years on years, never having a father or mother who really gave a rats butt about you. So given how much you owe your parents for your life, for them loving you, for them providing for you..... Do you really think a few hours on Sunday is oh so horrible a price? Look, when he moves out on his own, he can do whatever he wants. If he loves his parents at all, he should just go to church for those few little hours, and really shut up about it.
• United States
24 Jul 09
DUDE! This comment is seriously not cool. You can't just say that kind of thing to a kid! Their parent has unconditional love for them (or at least should) so the kid does not have to make reparations for having not been aborted. Holy crap! Do you think while you type? No need to threaten children with retro-active abortions!
@andy77e (5161)
• United States
24 Jul 09
Is the comment untrue? I am a firm believer that a 13 year old needs to hear these things, so he can learn, grow, and mature into adult. We live in a country where 1 in every 3 babies is aborted. We live in a country where to murder ones own child is considered normal and acceptable. It's so bad, we actually have T-shirts you can buy that say "I survived Roe V Wade". The fact your parents loved you enough to keep you, and not get rid of you, in order to protect their lifestyles and "freedom", is no longer an assumed thing. We should be grateful for everything they gave up, and sacrificed for us.
• United States
25 Jul 09
If you are a parent, or ever become one, telling your child that they should do whatever whatever you tell them to do because they owe you one for not killing them would cause serious psychological trauma. Using threats and fear to justify forcing a child to do whatever you want them to do, regardless of their spiritual needs is NOT love, and it certainly isn't good parenting. In parenting, deciding not to neglect, or hate, or abuse your child isn't something for which your child "owes" you, it's just something you have to do. If you child decides not to agree with your spiritual path, it is not your choice to shirk your obligation to love and attend to your child. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to threaten it, or lord it over you child. I hope this isn't the attitude you have with your children, or that you're parents had with you. Main point: parenting isn't about reciprocity, or debts. You just give them all your love because they are your child, your bratty un-aborted godless child.
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
21 Jul 09
It is a form of child abuse I would say. The parents are definitely crossing boundaries they shouldn't.
• United States
21 Jul 09
Not teaching a child about the Lord is a form of child abuse. Children NEED to know the Lord and how to live a godly life. Our world is in such a mess because so many people are afraid to talk about the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until we start teaching our children godly values, our nation/world will continue to worsten. God bless. ~Spring
• United States
24 Jul 09
I don't think it's fair to blame all the world's problems on the fact that there are people on earth who choose to have a different religion. Besides, the numbers aren't with you; Christianity is more popular than it has ever been, so it doesn't make much sense to say that a decrease in belief is responsible for the problems of today.
@mac1946 (1602)
• Calgary, Alberta
20 Jul 09
I am going to relate my own story and do not intend to show disrespect to anyone for their beliefs. I was one of those that was forced to go to,not one but two seperate churches in my youth. My Mother was cathelic and my Father protistant,this at that time caused an almost war between the families,as I was the first and only son,it was me they fought over. one sunday,I had to go to catholic church,the next protistant. this basically started when I was 2 years of age untill I was old enough to tell them to shove it where the sun does not shine. Once I was able to get away,I became what I believed was an atheist,later,while I was in the army at war (Viet Nam),I realized I was actually agnostic. Years later,I found my own belief,I am now and have been for some time,a witch,and am very happy with my choice. In my opinion,forcing anyone into a belief not of their choosing,is nothing short of brainwashing and should be stopped. Thank you for the thread.
• United States
21 Jul 09
No disrespect but is a witch even a religion and if so siplified what do you beleve in.
• United States
21 Jul 09
and what thread
@mac1946 (1602)
• Calgary, Alberta
25 Jul 09
Yes,Witchcraft is a religion,there are many different levels and types. you can say,that it is a religion based on Pagan,Wiccan and Shamenizm. We have many Beliefs that you do,only we have many Gods and Goddeses instead of just one. Many of our Holidays and observances are on or very near the same as yours but with different meanings. One of our main beliefs is not to try to talk anyone into joining witchcraft,it is up to the individual to look into it themselves. Next,a thread is the same as discussion,sorry about that.
@ElicBxn (61147)
• United States
21 Jul 09
so long as he is living under their roof, he needs to obey his parents - and I can understand that they don't want to leave him home alone at his age - a 13 yr old boy can get into a LOT of trouble in a short time left alone My roomie was about that age when she started going to the blind school, it was then basically a live on campus boarding school, she quickly proved difficult to force to church, tho her mother listed that she should be. After a year her mother removed that from her rules. small suggestion from an old timer to a newbie - don't select best responses for a few days
• United States
23 Jul 09
He is left alone nearly every night while his mom is at work.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61147)
• United States
23 Jul 09
where is his father? if he's not in the picture, than maybe she's trying to raise him to better than his father
• United States
21 Jul 09
At 13 he is not able to disobey his parents wishes. However I understand where he is coming from. I am not an atheist but I was forced to go to church 3 times each Sunday of my childhood days and ever since I have not been a churchgoer and do not subscribe to organized religion. I have very strong faith and worship in my own way and have a wonderful close personal relationship with my God.
• United States
23 Jul 09
You had to go to church 3 timed a day on sunday!!!!!!
• United States
24 Jul 09
Yes! 10 AM Sunday School 11 AM Morning Service 7 PM Evening Service
@ckhair13 (185)
• United States
20 Jul 09
No one should be forced to do anything that they do not want to do....HOWEVER, he is only 13 years old, a child & lives at home with his parents. His parents have every right to make him go to church cuz they are doing what they think is best for him...if he has any questions about being an athesist maybe he should talk to the pastor directly, maybe he maybe able to reach out to him & help him to sort out his feelings & thoughts on the subject.
• United States
20 Jul 09
I seriously doubt that his pastor will do anything to help him understand what atheism actually is, and will likely do his best to scare the crap out of him in order to keep him in the church.
• United States
21 Jul 09
islat latin i think is correct. All the pasture will do is scare him by saying stuff like you will burn in hell if you belevie in that nonsense. I think he should go talk to anothor atheist.
• United States
20 Jul 09
I think at 13 what he believes is not fully formed and he should go out of respect for his family and their beliefs. Atheism is not a reason to disrespect others though many do. 13 is still a child and they should go because they are expected to. I know it sucks. I had to go when I didn't want to at that age as well. But now years later the people who I have relationships with are the people I met in church. Only one or two of us go to services on a regular basis now some do not go at all, but we are all very close and would do anything for each other. Some times we have to go and do boring things but in the end they are the things we tell stories about and remember with fond memories.
• United States
21 Jul 09
But dont u think that his parents should atleast allow him to think more about it and take him a few more times then he can decide "better"?
• United States
21 Jul 09
Of coarse they should talk it out but your cousin needs to be open minded as well. Not to mention have a really good argument. I don't want to doesn't fly. In the long run if it makes home life a little easier what will going to church once in a while hurt.
@Pose123 (21661)
• Canada
21 Jul 09
Hi jacosci,I would like to know why his parents are forcing him to go to church. I expect it's because they want to look good in the eyes of their pastor and friends at the church. Forcing a child to go to church is wrong and cannot help the child. It will only make him bitter and probably turn him against his parents as well as the church. Blessings.
@Ravenladyj (22920)
• United States
20 Aug 09
thats an excellent point that always comes to my mind when I hear of this sort of thing...WHY do they force him...for "concern" (which doesnt wash for me truth be told) or for looks and to keep up appearences
@Springlady (3986)
• United States
21 Jul 09
Hi jacosci, If he were my child, yes he will go to Sunday School and church. He would live by my rules as long as he lives in my house. My home is a Christian home and I would pray with him and for him everyday. I would do my best to instill godly moral values in him and teach him about Jesus and the way he should live. That would be my responsibility as his parent. Children are given to us by God. They are His and He is entrusting us to take care of them and love them the way He taught. God bless! ~Spring
@levanueb (132)
• Philippines
22 Jul 09
Yes i agree with your opinion. As parents, it is a great responsibility to lead your children to the right path...
1 person likes this
@BethTN81 (564)
• United States
20 Jul 09
No one, not even children should be forced to worship a certain way. At 13, I serioulsy doubt the child completely understans what an atheist is, and could not give you the reason why he believes that way other than he was forced to go to church and is rebelling. The parents need to be talked to about what is going on, and why this child does not believe in God. Forcing him to go will not change his mind, but I will say alot of this could spark from the 13 yr olds parenting skills.
@BethTN81 (564)
• United States
20 Jul 09
Let me rephrase that last sentence. The parents of the 13 yr old must have a problem with discipline and ways they raise him. lol not many 13yr olds have parenting skills...i totally put that wrong!
• United States
20 Jul 09
No one should be forced to go to church. As a matter of fact, I don't think any children should be taken to church at all until they're old enough to evaluate what they're getting into and choose for themselves. Good luck to your cousin.
• United States
21 Jul 09
I thnk i like this response the best. I like the idea of waiting until they can evaluat it better because i also believe that if he is force he will not pay attention to what is going on.
@allie4712 (132)
• United States
20 Jul 09
I don't think anyone should be forced to go to church. Religion is something someone should pick on there own. People should be about to do what they want to do and worship who they want to worship. It's not right for his parents to try to force there religion on him. If they are going to do that he should be about to force his beliefs on them also.
• United States
21 Jul 09
very good i like the part where he should be allowed to force his religion on them.